zine talk

I.

So I got this in the post a few days ago:

not because I ordered it, but because I contributed a painting! You can click on the image to go through to the website. New blog formatting stuff for a new year!

It came to me in a cute little envelope covered in bright cartoony stickers, and I was really excited to see that the whole thing is printed on pink paper. The organiser, Beth, has put together some lovely words and pictures to go at the beginning and end of the submissions from all kinds of other people.

Anyway, what I wanted to write about here and now is how angry and immediate a lot of the poetry is. There’s graphic sexuality and the word “women/woman” is spelled “womyn/womon”. It’s not a spelling that I ever used and it’s not a kind of feminism I ever identified with if I’m perfectly honest, but the more I thought about it, the happier I felt about the fact that Girls Get Busy represents so many different opinions and ideas. Was there maybe a hint of worry that someone reading this might see my name and lump me in with people whose politics are a shade different to my own? I’m ashamed to say yes, a little bit at first, but to be honest, so long as you associate yourself with the word “feminism” you have to deal with the fact that there are a variety of different forms of feminism and people might make silly assumptions. That’s happened to me before and I imagine it’ll happen again. Really, I don’t think of myself as especially militant in my relationship to feminism: it’s something that I tend to put on the backburner at times but it’s always there and definitely a big part of how I see the world. That said, seeing other people’s views – especially when they differ from your own! – is one of the best reasons to get involved with zines, right?

At the end of the day I’m just happy to be put in the same category as a bunch of creative young women who are confident in their ideas and using the internet in a productive way. I shave my legs but I don’t care who doesn’t, and in general the poetry in Girls Get Busy is way better than most poetry I’ve read in zines. Now I’m just getting all worried that this entry is going to sound all critical or condescending about people I actually think are really cool. I guess I just wanted to talk about what it’s like when you’re collaborating with people without knowing them and having a lot of feelings about new experiences.

Also, I’m feeling really invigorated about all this zine stuff right now. I think a part of it is to do with the Ffotogallery Book Arts Fayre: getting to do research and stuff for that is such a lovely opportunity and really gets me thinking about how books and art can coincide. Then I stumbled across Girls Get Busy and submitted something and hey, contributing is fun!

II.

I made a whole zine! This one is not particularly about feminism, it’s about British Gloom, an idea I had one day and then decided to try and explain. Here are some pictures:

Collages, writing, photocopying, charity shops, Welsh-ness, maps, Jane Austen, The Fall, blah blah blah! That’s what its about, basically. I will post a link when distribution is sorted out (though it will be at the lovely Marching Stars) and I’m already excited about making another one with another special theme!

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One Response to zine talk

  1. Kira Swales says:

    Hey, I read a review of Sweet and Tender #1 on the Spill The Zines blog and it sounds great, wondered if you’d like to trade for a copy of my zine, Exploding The Myth? email me at kira_swales@yahoo.co.uk if yr interested! :)

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